Is it actually possible to successfully create more business out of fewer business opportunities? The fact is that all government contractors are dealing with this conundrum right now. For the first time in well over a decade, federal budgets are at the least leveling out with many departments cut dramatically while competition is increasing for contracts of all sizes. How businesses respond to these challenges will separate success from failure. Those operating via standard, tried and true best practices will see declining revenues as opposed to those changing to deal with the “new normal.” Actions taken in 2012 will determine what companies own the market in the coming years. How can a company strategize to own the market in 2012?
The DFARS business system rule is in full swing for 2012, clause DFARS 252.242-7005 is now included on all CAS covered contracts. The rule was written to cover the following business systems:
Many contractors overlook a simple annual assessment that can strengthen and maintain their ability to compete in the government market.
Individuals and businesses alike traditionally use the new year as a time to stop, take stock of the past twelve months, and develop strategies for the upcoming year. Just as individuals often resolve to eat less and exercise more, businesses may decide to become leaner by streamlining procedures or to get stronger by pursuing “healthier,” more lucrative, opportunities. For a government contractor, one of the most cost-efficient ways to maintain and/or increase competitiveness entails simply making sure that the contractor’s reporting efforts keep up with the ways the contractor has changed over time.
Leveraging Your Strengths
In their haste to establish market position, growing companies often run hard, fast and lean. They often pride themselves on their responsiveness and ability to adjust course rapidly. As a company matures however, often what got them “here,” won’t get them “there.” Chasing down every opportunity eventually leads to a drain on resources and employee turnover as that pace cannot be sustained. Doing ‘more of less’–contrary to how it sounds–actually creates a focus to execute on the strengths your business brings to the table.
In September 2010 the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) released its “Rules of Engagement.” These rules were set forth as guidance to the DCAA auditors on what communication they should be having with the contractors they are auditing, as well as the requestor (typically the Contracting Officer) of the audit, and how the communication may affect their independence. Auditor communication was addressed for every stage of an audit. While this is guidance for the DCAA Field Auditors, it is critical information for contractors as they now know what information and communication they should be receiving and when to request it. DCAA has increased staffing, procedures and scope of many audits, therefore you can anticipate working MORE with DCAA in 2012 if you are a defense contractor.
Know the “Rules of Engagement” before you are audited by DCAA: